Adelaide City went down 1-0 to APIA Leichhardt at Adelaide City Park on Saturday afternoon in their PlayStation 4 National Premier League Quarter Final.
By Michael Barbaro
The result subsequently saw the Black and Whites season come to an abrupt end, after a tight affair with their former NSL foe.
The clash got off to a rapid start with the visitors pressing early, stating their intentions to attack from the beginning.
Tasuka Sekiya found space from 25 yards before unleashing a shot just inches over the crossbar.
The two sides went into the break deadlocked at 0-0, with no real threats on the goal front from either team.
Following the break, the Tigers continued their pressing, seemingly putting City on the back foot.
However, they were unable to capitalise before coach Daniel Cummins pulled off a tactical masterstroke by substituting captain and former Central Coast Mariner David D’Apuzzo and replacing him with former Newcastle Jet Franco Parisi.
The move seemed to work, and in the 73rd minute paid dividends for the travelling Tigers.
Parisi put Sekiya through on goal with an inch-perfect through ball, and the Japanese winger slammed the ball past Ryan Veitch to put his side 1-0 up.
Minutes later, Parisi created a chance that would have doubled his side’s advantage with some quick skills, but Matt Halliday’s clearance denied them.
Damian Mori introduced Carlo Armiento into the fray, and in the 89th minute City had a golden chance to send the game to extra time.
Mamadi Kamara was fouled just outside the penalty, and Armiento, in a similar position to the cracking free kick he converted against MetroStars a few weeks back – stepped up to take it.
However, his left-footed drive was denied by a stunning save by APIA Leichhardt and former Sydney FC gloveman Ivan Necevski, who finger tipped the ball onto the upright before it was cleared to safety.
It was a disappointing end to the season for City, while their opponents travel to Melbourne to take on Heidelberg United at the Olympic Village in a date still to be confirmed.